The US Comes North!

20 06 2011

Saturday, June 18th, 2011 ~


Mark Nash, Raphael Santore, Denis Finnegan, and Mick Cagney had come up to the 1000 Island for an extended weekend of Diving Goodness! On Saturday, Steve and I decided to join them for a dive to the Keystorm and then the America. It had been a while since we have done those wrecks, and we decided to bring the scooters along for a fun ride.

We arrived at Caiger’s, and were greeted by our friends. Of course, I had to snap a pic before loading the boat.

 

We loaded the boat, and we were off! Customs, here we come!

No matter how many times I see Boldt Castle, I never get tired of it.

We cleared customs, then geared up for some Diving Goodness!

Raphael, with a big smile!

Mick, splashing in…

Denis.. also with a big smile!

..and Mark, splashing in!

The first order of the day was a dive on the Keystorm. It had been a while since we had done this one. As Steve and I entered the water, I didn’t really feel 100%. There was a bit of wave action, and since I do get seasick, we didn’t waste alot of time on the surface. Usually, once I’m down, I’m fine. I don’t normally get sick on the River though, so this was a bit silly (that is what was going on in my head). Once we got down onto the wreck, we peeked into the bathroom, and then had planned on doing a little penetration. I really felt “off” at this point, and signalled to Steve that going inside wasn’t for me, today. We did a bit of a tour, and then decided to scooter around, looking for other interesting things, off of the wreck.

At this point, I started fighting my gear, was underweighted, and just felt like it was my first ever dive. Time to thumb it. This was the first time that I have ever felt so dumb in the water, and was a little surprised that I had a day like I did. I was wearing different gear as well, which is probably why I sucked so badly. Oh well.. chalk it up to a crappy day in the water, and try again next time.

Bottom Time ~ 46 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 105′
Water Temp. ~ 59F
Vis. ~ 20′ 

 

On a nicer note, our friends did enjoy their dives, and it was a lot of fun being in the water with them. I am looking forward to seeing some of them at the Invasion! w00t!

Important things to keep in your Save-A-Dive kit…

On board, we watched as a freighter carrying windmill props went by…

It even had a launcher!

There were also some boat races going on, which got a little rocky at times. As we were heading back in, we were almost right in their line of fire, in their turning position. Thanks to Captain Steve for avoiding that craziness!

This boat has two jet engines, and was absolutely flying. I have no idea how I got lucky with this shot! 

So, even though my dive sucked, it was still great to be on the water, and with some really wonderful people. 🙂

See y’all soon!





Canadian Invasion ~ Brockville Edition

20 08 2009

Friday, August 7th, 2009 ~

I had packed the van the previous night, so that I was ready to roll in the morning. This was going to be the first weekend of the two Canadian Invasions, and we were meeting at the Bridge Island Resort, in Mallorytown.

When I arrived, there were already folks convening and getting gear ready!

Eric V. and Frankie…

Pickens…

Brent…

Bob P….

Randy…

Stephanie…

Piotr…

Andy…

Jamie and Rod…

Hmm.. it seems Chris was able to avoid the camera…

We organized the convoy, and went over to Rockport Dive Centre, to see Jeff. There were 13 of us to dive, which was a bit many for the Shaleka J, so 5 of us were going to scooter out to the wreck!

Chris M., getting ready to scooter (got him this time)…

Bob P., getting ready on the boat!

I had never navigated this dive from shore before, and was looking forward to the adventure! We dropped down, found the line, and headed out. Chris, Piotr, and I were in the lead, with Francois and Eric behind us. Frankie also brought his HD video camera. We got to the end of the line, and didn’t see anything. The visibility wasn’t that great, so we moved forward a little bit more, taking a bearing off of the line. That didn’t work. We went back to the line, and I looked to the right… Ohh.. look at that.. a big bow in the murk. I signaled to my team mates, and around the wreck we went. We saw the boat divers on the wreck as well, and I managed to give a couple of high fives to a bunch of people. We went inside for a bit, then came back out and headed back. What a fun dive!

Bottom Time ~ 54 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 92′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ Stinky

We broke for lunch, and went over to the Boathouse Restaurant. Notice Andy got in both pictures.. 😀

What would an Invasion be without stacking things??

After lunch, we headed back over to Jeff’s for a second run out to the Kinghorn. Chris was sitting this one out, so I took his scooter. Piotr and I teamed up, and Frankie and Eric were a team, once again.

We followed the line out again, but were able to get to the wreck in one this time…lol. We had a leisurely swim around the wreck, greeted some of the other divers, and went back in.

Bottom Time ~ 50 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 94′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ Still Stinky

We headed back to the Bridge Island to meet up with more arriving folk, then went over to the Boathouse again, for a party!

Everyone had arrived, once we got to the Boathouse, and there were so many of us, that we had to line up tables in two rows. We laughed and had a great time, even though Mr. Karaoke Man didn’t get there. Oh well… I can sing without music.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009 ~

We had four boats for the entire group: Two boats of Wayne’s and 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving, leaving out of Caiger’s, and two boats of Jeff’s, leaving from Rockport Dive Centre. We were all heading to the Keystorm, as the Poker Run was going on again, and we were limited to which wrecks we could do. It’s better to stay out of the channel with speeding boats nearby. Apparently, every dive boat in the water, was also headed for the Keystorm. It was going to be one busy day on that wreck.

Steve and I, playing around…

Cap’n. Jeff!

Steve and I were buddied up, and Chris, Piotr, and Jen were joining us as a group. Steve had the video camera, and he and I pointed the scooters down on the hull side, and down we went. We stopped at about the 85′ mark, and went underneath the wreck, to wait for the second gang. Steve filmed them coming down. It was kind of fun to have the scooters on this wreck, as we have always just swam this one. We did a tour down by the props, waved to our other friends, then played around in the cargo holds. We then followed the wall around for a bit, but didn’t see much of anything but wet rock. Coming back, we were right on the anchor. Alot of fun!

Bottom Time ~ 44 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 111′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ 20′ ish

In between dives, Steve and Mer went over to investigate the other group’s boats!

There are always the Kool Aid shots…

Steve, playing in the water…

The Poker Run was going on again, and since there were fewer boats than last year, it really wasn’t so bad. I caught a picture of one little boat in the air.

Oh.. what’s that? A police boat! I need a picture of them…

Um.. no, I didn’t mean for you to come over…

They were pretty friendly, and just checking up on us, to make sure that the speedy boats were cooperating.

Once we were all back on board, we headed back to shore, picked up a few goodies, and convened for some BBQ goodness! We had giant steaks and chicken (thanks to Jen for bringing the meat), potato salad, chips galore, a draw for some prizes (thanks to Rockport Dive Centre and Dive Tech for the donations), and plenty more laughs. Thanks to Pickens for his master cookery on the BBQ too!

Sunday, August 9th, 2009 ~

Today, we were on different runs. Wayne’s boats headed out to the Vickery, then to do a drift dive, and Jeff’s boats were headed off to the Jodrey.

Junior was overseeing the plans…

We tied up to the mooring tree, and prepared for our dive. Chris was a bit under the weather, so Piotr was going to join Jen and I.

We did our predive checks, then drifted to our descent spot. Once we got to the edge of the wall, down we went. It seemed that the current was an extra bit strong today, so on the way down, it felt like we were being carried over a bit. When we got down to 140′, we didn’t see the wreck. We descended a little more, then realized that we were definitely in the wrong spot. I could have sworn that the current had taken us farther past, so I figured we should go a bit west. We scootered along the wall, until we hit even stronger, screaming current, and I realized that we were on the wrong side of the wreck. The current gets even stronger, heading out near the channel, so we turned around, and got a bit more shallow. We scootered for a couple of minutes, then voila!! We were on the wreck! Judging by the distance that we travelled back and forth, we had to have been right at the hull, when we descended. Since it’s quite dark, and you don’t have any ambient light at the hull, neither of us knew that we actually were right beside the wreck. So… we didn’t actually get to spend much time on the wreck, and I have to take alot of that responsibility. I could actually blame it on Chris, on the boat, as just before the dive, he said to Piotr, “Just follow Chan. She knows where she’s going.”

Right.. famous last words! Lol.. well.. it was still an interesting experience, and we still did have alot of fun! Scootering in mid water at depth was actually a really cool experience. I guess the next case of Kool Aid is on me! Oh wait.. I did bring the Kool Aid… good call.

When we returned to shore, we packed up and headed back over to the Family Restaurant, to meet a bunch of the gang from Wayne’s boats, before everyone departed. Becki had the best napkins…rofl.

We shared our stories from the weekend’s dives, shared even more laughter, and enjoyed each other’s company.

It was really amazing to see alot of friends from last year, and we also made some new ones. Last year’s group was 18 people, and this year, we grew to 28, and two different weekends, in two different towns/cities. What an awesome group of people. I can’t wait until next year!